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Thread: Want Great Abs?

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    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Default Want Great Abs?

    Are you performing situps as an abdominal exercise then now is the time to stop...???

    The situp is not really an abdominal exercise...!!

    The situp uses the iliopsoas muscle, one of the muscles used to lift the knee upwards. It originates at the lower back and inserts into the thigh bone. The situp therefore pulls on the lower back and even more so when the feet are anchored under some object like a bench. So performing loads of situps can result in lower back pain..

    To work the abdominals effectively try these three exercises.

    (1) Bench Crunches

    First, perform bench crunches to strengthen your upper abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your feet on a bench and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands at your temples. Raise your head and shoulders until your body is at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Return to the starting position.

    Avoid pulling on your head during this exercise because you could strain your neck. Also, exhale when contracting and keep the tempo of the movement slow in order to maintain proper form.

    (2) Seated leg tucks

    Seated leg tucks are great for developing the lower abs. Sit sideways on a bench and grasp the edges of the bench for support. With bent knees, raise your legs slightly, and then straighten them. A good way to ensure proper balance is to lean back when needed.

    Next, lift your knees toward your chest while keeping your lower legs pointed downward, and flex your abs as hard as you can. For better results, keep the tension in your abdominal muscles throughout the entire movement.

    (3) Cable crunches

    The third movement will work your oblique muscles, which are on the sides of your body. Side-to-side rope crunches are great because the weight can be adjusted to each individual's strength level. Use a tricep pushdown cable and comfortably kneel facing the machine with both cables in your hands.

    The cables should now be on each side of you above your head. Alternatively crunch down the weight to each knee. The contraction should be controlled and performed slowly to maintain good form and maximise the work on the obliques.

    Perform 3-4 sets on each, 10-20 reps to start with..
    Doug

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    great post. rep +

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    Good one, but I am really surprised at the number ppl at gym who cannot feel which muscle they are exercising while working out.

    Whenver anyone pimps straight knee situps/leg raise - I ask them, "so you really feel your abs contracting when you perform it?", and guess what - most of the ppl are clueless as to what I am talking about.

    BTW I do one variation of the crunch - keeping the legs up, supported on a wall. This is how you will look:
    o_/| ( | is wall )
    And then crunch.

    Dunno what those are actually called.

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    yer nice post!! yer i do the floor reach to i think thats wat its called, would raising ur knees while hanging from a chin up bar target the lower or top of the abbs?
    isnt it funny how bears love hunny...

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    Quote Originally Posted by beefy View Post
    yer nice post!! yer i do the floor reach to i think thats wat its called, would raising ur knees while hanging from a chin up bar target the lower or top of the abbs?
    Anything involving lifting the legs would effect the lower abs, If you use a set of lifting straps you can also do twisting knee raises while hanging off the bar...
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    Excellent point- abdominal muscles to work them and know what you are doing is critical to wear you feel it, and increased targetting of the tissue. Thus saying by lifting your legs keeping your upper trunk fixed you work your lower abs, the opposite for the upper abs. Laying on a bench and lowering your legs down (usually when straight) while maintaining your back in neutral posture works the transverse abdominis. Any type of rotation whether it is with the upper or lower trunk fixed would work your obliques. Yes, with the lower trunk fixed you work your upper obliques and the opposite for the other. Can you train the fibers that way for the obliques? The jury is out, but we all know that varying the routine may be a way of confusing the muscle and increasing recruitment and decreasing staleness of the routine. "Variety is the spice of life..... and the life blood of making the routine work in unexpected ways".

    I agree with 10-20 reps due to abs being endurance based musculature, so to build the tissue up, more reps seems to feel better. I tend to use a clock/timer and just focus on eeking out the best reps in the best form in a certain time frame say 1 minute. Then I may increase or add a little "spice" to the routine.

    After any abdominal routine I highly recomend you perform a trunk stretch by gently twisting your arms and head in the opposite direction of your legs. By doing surch for a couple reps would decrease any back pain you may get by targetting the abs. On some occasions you may be targetting the abs but by keeping your legs fixed and curling down ie... (cables) you could be drawing in your Iliopsoas. This would cause some back discomfort, so Quadricep stretches or Cat press (push ups with pelvis on the mat) would help stretch this area.
    -M
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    One more abs thingie I do is:

    Lay on the bench - slight incline is better.

    Raise the legs, as if doing leg raise to ~ 90 degrees (from ground - that is keep legs vertical).

    Raise the hips OFF the bench. Hold. Return the hips back to bench, but keep the legs at 90 deg.
    Last edited by ssslayer; 10-03-2007 at 10:09 AM.

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    I use the hanging straps a lot and HIGHLY recommend them for knee lifts and twisted knee lifts.
    The next step would be straight legged lifts.

    I thought they were almost impossible a month ago, now I can do a couple of sets getting my toes up to waist height with my legs straight....getting past that still seems way too hard but I know it IS possible eventually ha ha!

    **beginners, have a spotter lightly hold ur lower back until u build up the strength and control to stop swinging, that helped me a lot**
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    Default ephigin

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Are you performing situps as an abdominal exercise then now is the time to stop...???

    The situp is not really an abdominal exercise...!!

    The situp uses the iliopsoas muscle, one of the muscles used to lift the knee upwards. It originates at the lower back and inserts into the thigh bone. The situp therefore pulls on the lower back and even more so when the feet are anchored under some object like a bench. So performing loads of situps can result in lower back pain..

    To work the abdominals effectively try these three exercises.

    (1) Bench Crunches

    First, perform bench crunches to strengthen your upper abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your feet on a bench and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands at your temples. Raise your head and shoulders until your body is at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Return to the starting position.

    Avoid pulling on your head during this exercise because you could strain your neck. Also, exhale when contracting and keep the tempo of the movement slow in order to maintain proper form.

    (2) Seated leg tucks

    Seated leg tucks are great for developing the lower abs. Sit sideways on a bench and grasp the edges of the bench for support. With bent knees, raise your legs slightly, and then straighten them. A good way to ensure proper balance is to lean back when needed.

    Next, lift your knees toward your chest while keeping your lower legs pointed downward, and flex your abs as hard as you can. For better results, keep the tension in your abdominal muscles throughout the entire movement.

    (3) Cable crunches

    The third movement will work your oblique muscles, which are on the sides of your body. Side-to-side rope crunches are great because the weight can be adjusted to each individual's strength level. Use a tricep pushdown cable and comfortably kneel facing the machine with both cables in your hands.

    The cables should now be on each side of you above your head. Alternatively crunch down the weight to each knee. The contraction should be controlled and performed slowly to maintain good form and maximise the work on the obliques.

    Perform 3-4 sets on each, 10-20 reps to start with..
    doug can you give me any info on ephigin is it good for you i hereyou can los a lot of weight by taking this i herd it drys out your system and gives you energy

  10. #10
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert View Post
    doug can you give me any info on ephigin is it good for you i hereyou can los a lot of weight by taking this i herd it drys out your system and gives you energy
    I take it you mean ephedrine.....??

    This drug is banned in the UK, but still available in some countries. It is reported that it increases; alertness, exercise tolerance, an increased heart rate, and increased body temperature. But there are side effects, the main ones are heart palpitations, dizziness, and sleep disturbances. People who take them normally start on 1-3 tablets per day, but after a while the body gets used to that dose, and then to obtain the same results the dose has to be increased, I have known people who have taken ephedrine in high doses to be taken to hospital to have their heart put back into rhythm either by medical drugs or via a defibrillator...!!!!!
    Doug

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    I've heard from real people only bad experiences from this medication... it had caused them to lose sleep, constantly be on the edge, overtrain, not want to be 'intimate', it sounds like it does more damage to your life than good. I think Duro mine is one of these I've known 3 people to take it and basically effed them up... One who had good results stopped after the 3 month period then put all the weight back on plus more... just like any temporary fix. In that case would you really want to be taking a speedlike pill all your life??? Hell no.
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    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Hi people....

    Here is an abdominal exercise you can try when sitting watching the TV..give it a try, its a killer..!!

    Iron Inch

    This is a very simple, highly effective exercise that is almost never used. The Iron Inch isolates the lower abdominal region.

    How to do:

    1. Sit on the floor, legs together, stretched out in front of you.

    2. Keep your back erect and clasp your hands behind your head.

    3. Using the power of your abs and hips try to inch across the floor for a distance of 10 feet. Do not bend your knees or get your back or arms into the movement.

    4. Using your lower abs move your right hip and then your left hip and inch. Continue until you reached 10 feet or cannot move further.

    5. Rest 90 seconds and repeat this movement backwards to your starting spot.

    6. After you have mastered this exercise place a weight in your lap for greater resistance.
    Doug

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    M&S Power User ssslayer's Avatar
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    We need a video!



    Although I think I got the movement.

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    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssslayer View Post
    We need a video!



    Although I think I got the movement.
    Have a go...see what you think....
    Doug

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    doug so basically u gta waddle urself across the floor with ur ass ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucko91 View Post
    doug so basically u gta waddle urself across the floor with ur ass ??
    Thats it...
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    sounds a bit like a move my dog used to do when he needed wormin lol

    think i'll wait till the other half goes to work before i pull this move out

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    I don't really get what cable crunches is about. From the description, it sounds like you kneel between two cables while holding 1 cable in each hand. If the two cable machines are facing east and west, you would be facing noth or south. Then you would bend your upper torso right or left while keeping your arms and lower body stationary. Sort of similar to a side bend. Is that correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ugeowhopwr View Post
    I don't really get what cable crunches is about. From the description, it sounds like you kneel between two cables while holding 1 cable in each hand. If the two cable machines are facing east and west, you would be facing noth or south. Then you would bend your upper torso right or left while keeping your arms and lower body stationary. Sort of similar to a side bend. Is that correct?
    Have a look HERE for cable crunches
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugeowhopwr View Post
    I don't really get what cable crunches is about. From the description, it sounds like you kneel between two cables while holding 1 cable in each hand. If the two cable machines are facing east and west, you would be facing noth or south. Then you would bend your upper torso right or left while keeping your arms and lower body stationary. Sort of similar to a side bend. Is that correct?

    You only need 1 cable for a cable crunch, above you and slightly in front, Put the rope grip on the end, which will give yu 2 bits of rope to hold on to. Kneel down about 2ft away from the base of the pulley, Then holding the rope grip either side of yer neck curl your upper body down and towards your pelvis.

    Oh just saw doug linked to it
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    I did a search on google afterwards and found that link as well. I didn't know that one worked the obliques...the movement seems similar to that of a straight sit-up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Are you performing situps as an abdominal exercise then now is the time to stop...???

    The situp is not really an abdominal exercise...!!

    The situp uses the iliopsoas muscle, one of the muscles used to lift the knee upwards. It originates at the lower back and inserts into the thigh bone. The situp therefore pulls on the lower back and even more so when the feet are anchored under some object like a bench. So performing loads of situps can result in lower back pain..

    To work the abdominals effectively try these three exercises.

    (1) Bench Crunches

    First, perform bench crunches to strengthen your upper abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your feet on a bench and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands at your temples. Raise your head and shoulders until your body is at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Return to the starting position.

    Avoid pulling on your head during this exercise because you could strain your neck. Also, exhale when contracting and keep the tempo of the movement slow in order to maintain proper form.

    (2) Seated leg tucks

    Seated leg tucks are great for developing the lower abs. Sit sideways on a bench and grasp the edges of the bench for support. With bent knees, raise your legs slightly, and then straighten them. A good way to ensure proper balance is to lean back when needed.

    Next, lift your knees toward your chest while keeping your lower legs pointed downward, and flex your abs as hard as you can. For better results, keep the tension in your abdominal muscles throughout the entire movement.

    (3) Cable crunches

    The third movement will work your oblique muscles, which are on the sides of your body. Side-to-side rope crunches are great because the weight can be adjusted to each individual's strength level. Use a tricep pushdown cable and comfortably kneel facing the machine with both cables in your hands.

    The cables should now be on each side of you above your head. Alternatively crunch down the weight to each knee. The contraction should be controlled and performed slowly to maintain good form and maximise the work on the obliques.

    Perform 3-4 sets on each, 10-20 reps to start with..
    I would like to know which one for lower abs?.

    I just start with 4 abs exercises: Bench Crunches, abs crunches machine, leg lifts and oblique crunches ... 4 sets and 25reps, 2 times a week.
    Last edited by Ghiath50; 11-11-2007 at 04:18 AM.

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    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghiath50 View Post
    I would like to know which one for lower abs?.

    I just start with 4 abs exercises: Bench Crunches, abs crunches machine, leg lifts and oblique crunches ... 4 sets and 25reps, 2 times a week.
    Any exercise that involves lifting the legs will involve the lower abs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugeowhopwr View Post
    I did a search on google afterwards and found that link as well. I didn't know that one worked the obliques...the movement seems similar to that of a straight sit-up.
    Obliques work as synergist.

    Main target is rectus abdominals only.


    You want to target obliques, then you need to impart some twist, OR, you may try to do side crunch movt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssslayer View Post
    Obliques work as synergist.

    Main target is rectus abdominals only.


    You want to target obliques, then you need to impart some twist, OR, you may try to do side crunch movt.
    I think there is a bit misunderstanding here...What I mean was the "Cable Crunches" doug posted in the original thread.

    (3) Cable crunches

    The third movement will work your oblique muscles, which are on the sides of your body. Side-to-side rope crunches are great because the weight can be adjusted to each individual's strength level. Use a tricep pushdown cable and comfortably kneel facing the machine with both cables in your hands.

    The cables should now be on each side of you above your head. Alternatively crunch down the weight to each knee. The contraction should be controlled and performed slowly to maintain good form and maximise the work on the obliques.
    The movement described doesn't really correspond to the link provided by doug...especially "Alternatively crunch down the weight to each knee." Doesn't look like the topless guy is crunching down to each knee...

 

 

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  4. Any help would be great
    By BigBubba in forum Critique My Workout
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  5. What a great day - i think:P
    By Messiah in forum General Chat
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